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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Tickets snapped up as Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre nears live return

Event Cancelled: This year’s Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre is cancelled. Organisers say there has been too much damage on site following high winds to be able to make the event safe for visitors, exhibitors, performers and staff. Organisers say they will be in contact with ticket holders from Monday.

Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre is going virtual this year. Photo: Ashleigh Cadet
Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre is going virtual this year. Photo: Ashleigh Cadet

Tickets are selling fast for the annual immersive Shropshire spectacle Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre ahead of its live return later this month.

Passes for the earlier entry time slots at the event, which resumes as a live show in the grounds of Ludlow Castle on November 27-28 after a two-year absence, have sold out as Fayre goers book up to savour the entertainment in the run-up to Christmas.

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Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre draws thousands of people from the wider West Midlands region as well as from across the UK to Ludlow every November for a mix of theatre, music, food and stalls which regulars enjoy as a favourite part of their build-up to Christmas.

Anyone wanting to join the festivities this year can secure a pre-booked ticket through the Fayre website. With each ticket attributed to one of 13 designated arrival times across the weekend, tickets for the first two entry slots have already sold out as regular Fayre goers rush to ensure they do not miss out.

Having moved online last year due to Covid-19, the team behind the event believe the rate of sales for the 23rd Medieval Christmas Fayre to be staged at Ludlow Castle indicates the appetite for the full return of the immersive Medieval gathering for all ages.

The well-loved south Shropshire celebration will attract thousands of people to the historic castle as they travel back in time for a weekend of fun and hearty food, with more than 100 stalls selling unique Christmas presents and one-off treats.

The team at Dakin Events, the south Shropshire family business behind the Fayre, have been delighted by the public response to the programme for 2021. Mother and daughter team Prue and Abi Dakin are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the immersive event in the beautiful Marches countryside.

Abi said: “With less than a month to go we are looking forward to celebrating our live return with thousands of people once again joining the festivities at Ludlow Castle. Tickets are being booked in advance to allocated times to spread visitors out throughout the day, to reduce crowding and queuing and to help keep everyone safe.

“Anyone wanting to come along should be rest assured there are still plenty of tickets and entry time slots available, particularly for the popular evening slots on Saturday, as well as daytime visits on both days.

“There is a real buzz around Ludlow and among our entertainers and partners, who travel from across the UK just like our audience, as we get closer to returning after a two year gap. We know regular Fayre goers are joining us from the length and breadth of the country, with coach companies reporting high levels of interest from people who do not want to miss our live return.”

Prue said: “For us, the Fayre is the highlight of our family annual calendar and we view everyone who joins us as a welcome guest so it was sad to have to move online for 2020. We cannot wait to see everyone back with us at Ludlow Castle for another live event as it has been the home of the Fayre ever since we started.

“We know families will have missed being able to get together to enjoy the Fayre, which allows them to travel back in time while enjoying tremendous entertainment and some hearty food and drink whilst getting stuck into their Christmas shopping.

“We cannot wait for the gates to open and to see people joining us again to enjoy the Fayre after such difficult times.”

With tickets selling fast Fayre lovers should make sure they book via the Fayre website.

The live programme for 2021 includes the Tournament of Knights, the competition for warriors using sword, mace and quarter-staff, culminating in a Saturday evening fight with fire. Other spectacles include the re-enactment of the Battle of Agincourt which recalls the prowess of Welsh archers against the French during the famous victory using nothing but props and enthusiastic audience engagement.

The entertainers include Midlands actor and musician Lucio Gray, historical costume expert The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant, Shropshire comedy troupe The Shrewsbury Mummers plus audience participation with What a Palaver.

More entertainment will be provided by 10-foot puppet Brother Sid, who walks among the crowd spreading blessings, storytelling duo BZ Ents, Hand to Mouth theatre, jesters James and Tomfool, plus circus skills workshop purveyor Kris Katchit. There will be solo shows by the Wise Woman of Worcester and popular storyteller Yarnsmith of Norwich.

The live medieval music performers include Baggshotte Waytes, who play period instruments including trumpets, skirling pipes and hurdy gurdys, music foursome Diablos in Musica and visitors can sing along with West Country carol singers The Quire, who will lead Fayre goers through a Saturday night audience participation performance.

This year’s live demonstrations include Big Beynon’s Blacksmithing, highlighting the secrets of a medieval forge, pottery demonstrations from Jim Newbolt of Trinity Court Pottery and the craft of making armour from Ludlow couple Chain Reaction.

Last November, audiences watched the Fayre at home when it was held online as a one-off with families around the world watching online to enjoy the entertainment from workshops, exhibitors and more.

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